Someone once truly said, ‘You are what you eat’.
This holds true even for your teeth.
There are some food items that will work for your teeth and then there are some that will work against your teeth. When you eat food that works against your teeth, you are not only feeding yourself but you are also feeding the bacteria and germs that cause tooth decay.
So, if you are at all picky about your food, then pick the good guys –
- Cheese, milk and yogurt: All dairy products are proud carriers of loads of calcium. Calcium helps maintain teeth strength. So, it is very easy for anyone to understand how dairy products can do wonders for your teeth. Cheese, especially, is one of the best food items for your teeth. It is high on calcium and low on sugar. It contains casein, which is a protein that is particularly useful for fortifying tooth enamel. Cheese is also high in phosphate content, which helps balance pH levels in the mouth, which helps to preserve tooth enamel. Another great reason cheese is a friend to our teeth is that chewing it increases saliva production, which helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth. Milk, like cheese, also lowers the acid levels in the mouth, which helps fight tooth decay. Yogurt is packed with calcium and probiotics that protect you against cavities, gum disease and even bad breath.
- Leafy greens: Leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce are also high in calcium and contain folic acid, not to mention that they are loaded with loads of vitamins and minerals which are good for your body as well as your teeth.
- Apples and pears: Eating apples or other hard fibrous fruits can help clean your teeth and increase salivation, which can neutralize the citric and malic acids left behind in your mouth. And while sugary apple juice may contribute to tooth decay, fresh apples are less likely to cause problems. This is because chewing the fibrous texture of apples stimulates your gums, further reducing cavity-causing bacteria and increasing saliva flow. Raw pears are good at neutralizing acids in your mouth that cause decay.
- Meat and fatty fish: Meat and fatty fish contain most of what your teeth love. What’s more, since meat is dense, it is chewy and thus produces more saliva. Saliva is like your mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria and tooth cavities.
- Nuts: Turns out, those almonds that your mom made you eat everyday not only help sharpen your brain, but also give a lot to your teeth. Nuts contain a lot of important elements including calcium and phosphorus. Peanuts are a great source of calcium and vitamin D and almonds offer a good amount of calcium. Cashews are known to stimulate saliva and walnuts contain everything from fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc.
- Cranberries and raisins: Cranberries and raisins (of course, either sugar-free or fresh) are rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are a category of chemicals that naturally occur in many of the foods and drinks we consume. They offer a variety of health benefits, including their role as antioxidants, which can combat cell damage, as well as their effects on reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is your teeth’s bro! Quiet literally. It contains lots of Vitamin C and K, both important for your teeth’s good health.
- Sweet Potatoes: These contain loads of Vitamin A. Vitamin A contributes to sustenance of mucus membranes and soft tissue of the gums. It also plays an important role in providing protein keratin, which is pertinent for the development of tooth enamel.
- Garlic and Onions: Yes, garlic and onion wouldn’t be anybody’s first choice for a fresh breath, but they do contain antimicrobial properties that help fight tooth decay and infections, especially periodontal disease.
- Whole grains: Whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal and other whole grains are healthier choices as against simple carbohydrates that may stick to your teeth and make it harder to keep the teeth clean, because they have complex carbohydrates which give bacteria less digestible food for them to grow.
This list is obviously not exhaustive. There are so many other things you can eat that will do a lot of good for your teeth and general oral health. However, while what you eat definitely matters, when you eat also matters a lot. Timely food intake is just as important as proper food intake.
So just sit back, eat good food and let your mouth do all the work for you!